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Ben Wallace, the 2004 Champ Pistons, Rob Williams and the Celtics upcoming season

 Just finished watching an NBA TV replay of the 2004 Title-clinching Game-5 between the underdog Pistons versus the multi-superstar Lakers. Detroit took the game and Championship with the final score being 100-87 in favor of the Pistons.


My readers know my affection for that specific Detroit team. They had ZERO superstars, whereas LA had Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone (out for Game 5) and Gary Payton. Chauncey Billups voiced his feelings best on his supposedly out-matched crew:

"People are not even thinking we had a chance to win one game in this series."

"We do play the right way, and we are truly a team" is what Pistons Coach Larry Brown had to say about his troops. He was right. His players pushed the ball up court to make Shaq work harder, played extremely-tough defense, moved the ball around and kept attacking the basket. It all worked, and Ben Wallace's play was astounding. I had honestly forgotten how tough and quick he was. And his rebounding was absolutely fierce. He racked up 18 points, 22 boards and three steals in the contest.


 I still lament the fact that Chauncey Billups never got a shot in Beantown after being drafted by Boston, and Wallace was considered too short to play center for the Celtics after going undrafted. Ben was listed at 6'9", 240 pounds, but he was most-likely shorter than that. The Celtics Rob Williams has comparable size at 6'8" and 237 pounds. He has Ben's athleticism and quickness. What do fans think additional physical and mental toughness could do to his game? And how about for the Celtics, more mid-range shots, tougher defense, pushing the pace and attacking the basket. Something to think about for a team wrongly mired in the middle of the pre-season rankings.


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